Planning your own virtual event or simply attending one in the near future? Great! Make sure to put your self out there. Promoting your brand in the spotlight as part of a virtual event is not something that will happen automatically. You need to plan ahead and put a few strategies in place to ensure that your brand truly stands out. Relying on same old tricks won’t do anymore, especially not in the ever-expanding, information-dense digital universe. It’s time to get creative instead.
So, let’s talk about brand recognition and virtual events. Here are six creative ideas that you can rely on when brainstorming the best ways to get your virtual audience to memorize and fall in love with your brand.
Just because your attendees are tuning in from the comforts of their homes, that doesn’t mean they can’t get their hands on some sweet event swag. Don’t settle for boring pens and useless keychains, though. Gift your attendees something useful, unique, and personalized.
Our recent #EventIcons guest, Kristin Horstman from Salesforce, emphasized that it’s important to take virtual attendees away from the mundane day-to-day life. And event swag just might be a way to go about it. “Send something to your attendee’s house. Think about how much we don’t even get mail anymore! So going back to a little bit of that old school, the snail mail and sending somebody a surprise, it gets people excited for that online experience that you’re going to have them engage with,” she said.
Not only do you promote your brand during the virtual event by sending in some swag, you also ensure your brand stays present in the lives of the attendees post-event. It’s an old marketing tip: form positive association in the minds of your target audience and set yourself up for success.
… Or Better Yet: A Whole Experience!
Speaking of mailing things, a little goes a long way when transforming virtual events into unforgettable virtual experiences. AJ Williams from AJ Events, for example, put a party in a box and sent it on its way. “We sent our attendees branded masks and streamers, so we could see their level of support and their excitement during the event. We also had a program book just like you would at a normal event, thanking our sponsors and giving more information about the cause. Then, there were personalized messages and little other gifts that people could use and keep,” she said.
Promote Your Brand At Virtual Events: Choose A Theme!
The first things that you have to identify before you create your virtual event planning timeline is the event’s ‘why’. Everything else will grow from it, including the theme – if you choose to have one. And you’re highly encouraged to do so! An event theme sets the tone of the entire experience and makes it all the more unforgettable. Not only does a theme go a long way in getting your attendees excited ahead of your virtual event, it also fosters a sense of belonging. So, come up with a fun tagline and put your brand at the front and center of it.
By the time your virtual event starts, your attendees should be familiarized with the theme of your event. And no, that doesn’t mean that they should go out of their way and do their homework. Instead, design your event website and marketing materials with the theme in mind. And while you’re at it, add all the essential information, such as the registration form, keynote speakers, and all other essential information.
One clever way of promoting your brand at ALL virtual events, not just your own, is to create branded virtual backgrounds for your team memebrs. The first rule of backgrounds for virtual events is: steer clear from generic virtual backdrops! Get creative instead. Backdrops are an opportunity to promote your brand at a virtual event and get your audience to know you. They should always be on-message, thought through, and memorable.
A simple yet effective promotional tactic is to make virtual backgrounds which members of your team can use during events so that they are always on-message and well-positioned to enhance brand visibility. There are many ways to go about it: from using a static background with the company’s logo and colors to creating full-blown animations.
Static virtual backgrounds with your company logo and corporate color palette are of course the quickest and easiest to conjure up, and if you are not a Photoshop wiz, then you can always outsource this to the relevant department if possible.
Promote Your Brand At Virtual Events With Social Media
Okay, you’ve got your event website and virtual platform set up for some brand promotion. And how do we get the word out? With social media, of course! Think about which social media channels your attendees use the most. Should you create a Facebook event or would it be wiser to advertise your virtual event on LinkedIn? There are no right or wrong answers here. Even video memes can make for a great communication strategy. It all depends on who your target audience is.
Then, get posting: run polls and quizzes, post interesting stories, … Keep reminding your attendees about your brand and your virtual event extravaganza.
Leverage Storytelling To Your Advantage
Many brand experts agree that storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to ingratiate an organization with prospective customers and partners, whether in face-to-face settings or in a digital context. So rather than simply relying on carefully crafted logos and concise messaging, expand your ambitions to include a storytelling element as part of your next virtual event.
Telling your audience a story is a great way for them to effortlessly learn about what you do, your core values, and your mission. There are several approaches to adopt, whether you decide to focus on the overarching story of your brand’s emergence and rise to prominence, tell the tale of an individual employee or team’s contribution to its success, or chart the progress of your latest product from inception to launch. After all, nothing is more memorable than a compelling story about fellow humans.
You can also deploy different tools for this purpose, from social media to bespoke in-event presentations, or fully-fledged videos which are easy to share with participants at the right moment.
You might have all the branding and stories in the world, but if you fail to engage your virtual audience, none of it will matter. When discussing creating engaging virtual experiences, Brian Fanzo, a digital futurist and keynote speaker, pointed out that “in a virtual space, the audience has all the power and all of the decision-making to go where they want, when they want, how they want, and consume content in whatever format they want”.
“The virtual component to me has so much new value. Imagine if you’re engaging with a speaker twice a month for the nine months leading up to that event. Not only do you already trust them, you also know what to expect,” he added.
So, choose your virtual event speakers wisely. Not only do virtual speakers need to be trained, they should know your brand as well as audience in and out.
Promote Your Brand At Virtual Events: The Sky Is The Limit!
When thinking of ways to promote your brand at virtual events, let your imagination fly high. The sky is the limit! Get curious and be inspired! Check out what the best in the industry are doing to stand out from the crowd. This just might be the most fun part of planning a virtual event; choosing a theme, setting up a beautiful event website, and writing a story.
And if you find yourself feeling you need a partner to brainstorm about all things creative, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help. Event design, strategy, AV and production … There’s not a single thing we can’t do here at Endless Events!
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published on December 4th, 2020, by Richard Fendler, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.